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Anyone using the Q5 Multi-Band Transverter?

Is anyone using the Q5 Multi-Band Transverter with their Flex? If so, how do you like it?

Butch

KF4HR

Comments

  • I have one on order, and plan to use it in my rover setup with a 6400M
  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    I am considering this as well. I am currently running Elecraft 144,220, 440 transverters to a Flex 6700 "daisy chained" together from the RX A and transverter port. The transverters feed older Mirage amplifiers. I am wondering if I can replace the Elecraft units with the Q5 multi band transverter and use the same daisy chain process (appreciating I could only use one band on the transverter at a time).

    Tim VE6SH

  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭

    I already own a 2MLDPA for my Flex-6700, so I decided to contact Q5 (on an outside chance) to see if I could order their Multi-Band Transverter without the 2M band. Their answer was no. I also learned their Multi-Band Transverter will not support full duplex cross band operation (i.e., transmit on one band, while listening on another). So unfortunately the Multi-Band Transverter (by itself) is not a full duplex solution for Satellite operation.

    I'm debating whether to order the Multi-Band Transverter or stick with my 2MLDPA for 2M, then daisy chain separate Transverters for 222, 432, 902, and 1296. This works out to be a more expensive option, but I'm thinking if I opt'ed for 10M IF's, I could at least set up full duplex operation on the certain Satellites.

    By the way, I learned from Q5 that the Multi-Band Transverter has built in receive preamplifiers for each band, and the 2M receive preamp in the Multi-Band Transverter is a bit more sensitive than the receive preamp in the 2MLDPA.

    Does anyone have a good handle on the Multi-Band Transverter IF Configuration and RF Configuration options (common or split) and what their purpose(s) or drawbacks might be?

    Butch, KF4HR

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin

    One of our customers is using it and loves it.

    He is audio band switching with the Bit mapping that is part of the USB Parallel port on the back of the radio.

    Mike va3mw

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    Mike

    That is what I was thinking and daisy chaining the Q5 ports (like I have with the Elecraft Transverters).

    Tim VE6SH

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin

    This is the document that should get you going.



    You can then add a 8 Channel USB Denkovi board to do a bunch of things including changing bands on the Q5 MultiBand device.



    73

  • Mike_WB8CXO
    Mike_WB8CXO Member ✭✭

    If ya have a 6600 or 6600M you can buy 2 Q5's for full duplex! Flame Suit ON!

  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭

    Good idea Mike! Hey, it's just money right? :)

    It's a shame the Multi-Band Transverter cannot be setup for full duplex configuration so it can [also] be used for Satellite operation. I've decided to go with individual daisy chained Q5 Transverters.

    Butch

    KF4HR

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭
    I am also looking at ordering a Q5 Signal 5-Band VHF/UHF transverter (SBVUX). On configuration - It seems like the common IF of 28.000 MHZ would be best but would a split RX/TX of the RF be better for expandability and flexibility in the future instead of Common RF? I know Tim Ellison said in one of his articles that if you had Split RF that it was not a problem to use external cables to combine the RX and TX.

    Second question - In Flex's USB - Cable Interface Guide it refers to use of a C232HM cable for transverter use yet I can not find this cable listed as a Flex product. I do find Flex offering as an accessory a USB to Parallel adapter for the FLEX-6000 series. Does anyone know whether this is the same cable, an upgraded cable offering, or the proper cable to run between a Flex 6600m and a SBVUX?

    Don AC0UH
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Don

    I have no direct experience with the multi-band Q5 transporters.

    I do have the 144MHZ, 432MHZ and 1296MHZ Q5 transporters. In each case, I selected the common TX and RX IF. Each uses an internal TX/RX relay to move the IF to the common.

    Changing configuration is easily done, for "future proof" purposes.

    From my single band transverters, below, are the instructions from the manual for converting split / common configuration.

    Alan WA9WUD

    ==============================

    Common or Split IF Option: The IF configuration may be changed at any time according to the type of transceiver you are utilizing. The component designators are silk screened on the printed circuit board. K2 is the common IF relay. To split the IF lines into separate RXIF and TXIF, remove the IF coax from its position on the board (junction of K2 and C45) and re-attach the center conductor between C38 and K2. The shield may be now soldered where it was on the ground pad marked COM. The TXIF cable can be prepped and soldered to the pad between K2 and C39.

    The shield can be soldered to the ground pad labeled TXIF. Install a BNC connector in the rear panel (TXIF) and attach the TXIF coax. Reverse the procedure if you want to change to (or back to) Common IF.

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭
    Alan,
    Tnx for your reply - it answers my question about the common or split RF. I will order common IF and RF on the transverter.

    Still desire to hear from anyone knowledgeable regarding the second question on cabling from the FLEX 6600m to the transverter.

    Don AC0UH
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Don

    I may be able to respond to the USB cable question, but first, what is a "SBVUX"?

    Alan

  • Neil D Friedman N3DF
    Neil D Friedman N3DF Dayton, OHMember ✭✭✭

    Alan,

    It is Q5’s 5-band, $2.0K, 25-watt transverter.

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    I found the multi-mode manual.

    Here is the same section on converting between common/multio IF mode:

    ==============

    Common or Split IF Option: The IF configuration may be changed at any time according to the type of transceiver you are utilizing. The component designators are silk screened on the printed circuit board. K6 is the Common IF relay. To split the IF lines into separate RXIF and TXIF, remove the IF coax from its position on the board (junction of K6 and C136) and re-attach the center conductor between C135 and K6. The shield may be now soldered to the ground pad marked RXIF. The TXIF cable can be prepped and soldered to the pad between K6 and C128. The shield can be soldered to the ground pad labeled TXIF. Install a BNC connector in the rear panel (TXIF) and attach the TXIF coax. Reverse the procedure if you want to change to (or back to) Common IF.

    =============================

    For Transceiver band input, the manual says it uses an "aux" connector".

    ==================

    AUX Connector: The AUX Connector is a 15-Pin D-Sub High Density Female Connector containing the connections for Band Data Inputs, Sequenced PTT Outputs, Alternate PTT Input and Ground.

    ======================

    So, assuming you need to solder wires from the Flex cable to the connector, you will need a parallel, FTDI, USB cable. Here is a link to Amazon. This is the same cable / brand as offered from Flex:

    Alan

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    I checked the band BCD format of the Flex and for the transporter and their are differences.

    So, if you are planning to use transceiver control,

    • you will need to get the missing BCD codes from flex for the other bands (perhaps Q5 already know?(
    • you will need to request accustom BCD format on your order.

    From the Q5 manual:

    And, here is the Flex BCD format:


  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭
    Alan,

    Tnx again for the guidance. I had previously downloaded the Q5 Signal SBVUX manual so had seen the band data inputs you referred to in you comments. Where did you find the Flex BCD format information? It seems like the place I need to review but I not aware of this being in the Flex 6000 Signature Series SmartSDR Software User Guide. Evidently using the FTDI USB cable and then soldier the proper wires to the male 15 pin D-Sub High Density Connector to fit the SBVUX connector. At the same time, the connector is only expecting band data to come in on pins 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (matching the band data from column 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0 as listed in your data input chart as found in the SBVUX manual). So I probably only need to order the FTDI USB cable and find a male connector to match the SBVUX input. I am assuming my 160 to 6 meter bands will work fine as they will continue to operate through the antenna 1 and antenna 2 of the Flex 6600m while the transverter bands will operate from the Flex 6600m transverter ports to the FTDI USB cable and connector into the transverter. I already have set up the transverter to appear through Settings -> XVTR -> and adding a 144, 222, 432, 902, and 1296 transverter tabs. Imagine I should be able to sort this all out by the time the multiband transverter arrives.

    Don AC0UH
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Flex USB info came from the "Smart SDR USB Cable Interface Guide"

    Your HF bands will not be affected. You will use the Transverter BNC antenna ports.

    I recall the aux connection connector was included with the Q5 transverter.

    I suggest you confirm the BCD Band codes from the Flex before ordering your Q5 transverter. Again, Q5 may already know them, but you need to specify what you want.

    You could also measure the output from each individual cable on the Flex Cable and build your own truth table for code vs band.

    Alan. WA9WUD

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭

    Alan,

    Again thanks for your guidance and suggestions. I will follow up with Q5 Signal and Flex Radio although I have proceeded with the Q5 Signal order of the 5BVUX as it requires confirmation of IF split or common, RF split or common, and the PTT-L to ground or PTT-H Positive Voltage. I proceeded with combined IF and RF and of course push to talk low to ground. I also included with my order that would be using the 5BVUX with a Flex 6600M. I am sure any adjustments are to the FTDI USB and the male 15 pin D-Sub High Density Connector that fits the female connector on the 5BVUX and perhaps in software between the Flex 6600M and the Q5 Signal 5BVUX.

    For anyone else tracking this discussion, in my earlier post I errored by typing SBVUX instead of 5BVUX for the Q5 Signal multi-band transceiver model. Sorry, the old eyes are not as sharp as they used to be.

    Don AC0UH

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭

    Solution -

    Flex Radio responded to my request for a FTDI USB cable with the proper male connector for the 5BVUX as a no go and recommended looking into using Denkovi Relays to accomplish the connection.

    I also contact Signal 5 and they responded, "Yes, we typically send the male connector with the transverter.  The FTDI USB cable is a C232HM-EDHSL-0. We sell this cable with the 15-Pin AUX Connector already installed for $60." Alan, WA9WUD, you were right that they would send the needed connector.

    I have ordered the cable to be shipped with the transverter, will again be easier on my old eyes that the soldering. I will leave word here whether this is successful or not and if anything additional was needed. It may be a month or so before all items arrive as I am also going to try to get an external GPSDO and frequency stabilization going to ensure stability at the higher frequencies.


    Don AC0UH

     

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Don

    Good to hear on the cable.

    I suggest again, you confirm with Q5 that they set up the transverter with the proper Flex BCD to Band codes.

    It does not appear to me, in the stock configuration, that the BCD codes are compatible.

    Alan. WA9WUD

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭

    Alan (WA9WUD),

    Did as you suggested and sent Q5 Signal an email regarding the last part of our conversation and the concern regarding having the proper Flex BCD to Band codes. This being Saturday before Easter, I imagine their reply will be next Monday. They were very prompt regarding my previous cable request and they know I will be connecting the 5BVUX multiband transceiver to a Flex 6600M so imagine they have been down this path before. Will let you know what I hear from them Alan and thanks again for your guidance and help.

    Don AC0UH

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭

    Wow - Q5 Signal replied to my email even on Saturday! Alan - reply was:

    Hi Don, 

    Our 5-Band Transverter should be compatible with the "HF+VHF Output Bit Pattern" found on pg 9 of the attached FLEX document. It should also work with the "VHF VBCD Output Bit Pattern" on pg 8 if you omit the "Bit 4" line connection. 

    But if you find that these Band Data options are not acceptable, just let me know. We should be able to provide a custom solution.


    The document they sent is the Flex USB Cable Interface Guide.pdf . Page 9 in Adobe Reader is attached. I would think this would be good to go. What's your thoughts Alan?


    Don AC0UH


  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    The BCD codes look good.

    Q5 has excellent customer support.

    Alan

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭

    Alan, thanks again for your assistance with my transverter project. I feel much more confident with you 'looking over my shoulder', your mentoring is much appreciated. Yes I agree, Q5 signal seems to have superb customer support. As I found as an educator, sometimes asking the right question (or knowing to ask the right question) is the key. At this point, I am a newbie to these new bands but it will be part of the fun this spring and summer.😊

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    Don, thank you for the comments. I have found them very helpful (my transverter shipped on Monday) and I look forward to following your project.

    73

    Tim VE6SH

  • Don Achelpohl
    Don Achelpohl Member ✭✭

    Tim,

    I figured there were others in the community trying to figure out the specifics for using the Q5 Signal Multiband transverter, SBVUX. So you went ahead and ordered the SBVUX from Q5 Signal? If so, sounds like you will have it all worked out by the time I get mine. It hasn't shipped yet. Hopefully we help each other in the community making it a rich and deep resource. I know I appreciate Alan's, W9WUD's, help too.

    73

    Don AC0UH

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    Don

    Thank you. It actually just arrived (three days. Not bad cross-border). I should have some time this weekend to install it and will report back. It replaces three Elecraft transverters.

    73

    Tim VE6SH

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager admin

    @Tim VE6SH you just need to convince Dana to change teams too. :)

  • Tim VE6SH
    Tim VE6SH Member ✭✭

    I have mentioned it to him!

    Tim VE6SH

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